OAKLAND – Madison Bumgarner rarely has as odd a game as he did Saturday night. Through four innings, Bumgarner struck out five and had allowed just one hit and three baserunners. But when the fifth inning came, Bumgarner lost his feel. He allowed a leadoff walk, followed by a single and three straight walks, the last two of which walked in two runs.
“It’s a weird situation, just kind of lose your feel right there for a minute and let the inning get away from you,” Bumgarner said. “First four innings, I was cruising pretty much and then the fifth, just couldn’t find the zone.”
Bumgarner finished the game with a career-high six walked batters, and was pulled in the bottom of the fifth inning in a bases-loaded, no-out situation. It snapped an 89-game streak Bumgarner had of pitching at least five innings, which is the Giants’ all-time record, and was the longest streak in the majors.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Bumgarner looked out of wack.
“I think that’s fair to say,” Bochy said. “I think Bum would tell you that too. I don’t know if that’s ever happened to him. He ran a lot of deep counts and the walks caught up with him. He started that inning with a walk and then a blooper that fell. He just had trouble making his pitches and that’s unlike Bum.”
The 28-year-old Giants starter said his performance was not due to a mechanical issue, nor the A’s offense being patient at the plate.
“I just didn’t throw strikes,” Bumgarner said. “That’s it. It doesn’t matter, you take pitches, you don’t want to swing, whatever. I’m trying to get ahead, trying to throw strikes and put guys away fast. I just couldn’t do it there in the fifth. I don’t think it had anything to do with them.”
Bumgarner said he has little interest in his streak of pitching five-plus innings.
“I don’t care about any kind of streak, except for a win streak,” Bumgarner said. “That’s about it. But that’s the whole idea, going deep into games, so it’s worked out for me for awhile.”
When asked whether he was concerned that the outing might be a sign of a problem that could continue to his next start, Bumgarner replied, “No, are you?”
For more Giants videos click here.